Biology, the study of life, contributes broadly to human welfare in areas such as medicine, biotechnology, agriculture, the environment, and the food industry.
The biologists in the Department of Biology work together to integrate their individual disciplines into a unified course of study that is focused on meeting students’ needs and exposing students to the various aspects of fields of biology.
We offer majors in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Health Science and also offer courses that can be used towards a major in General Science, a biology minor, or as your General Education requirements. We also offer courses for students enrolled in nursing, physical education and midwifery.
MRU Biology in the News
Jennifer Limoges - a Health Science graduate (2015) and current 2nd year Midwifery student - was the recent 2018 recipient of the MRU Future Alumnus Award. This award 'recognizes current students that exemplify the qualities of an outstanding alumna or alumnus, before they have even graduated'. Jenny is an excellent example of a dedicated student that is engaged in learning and helping others. In addition to her studies, Jenny is also helping current Biology students in her role as Peer Learner for BIOL 1220/1221 and BIOL 4207.
Exercise and Pregnancy - how much and how vigorous? Associate Professor, Dr. Trevor Day was recently published in the New York Times. Click here to read the article that has since been picked up by CBC Radio, Alberta at Noon.
Alex Farmer has been Making Bee Boxes in Okotoks. Click this link to hear the CBC Radio interview with Alex.
Click this link to hear a CBC interview with Alex Farmer (Department of Biology) on the latest neonicotinoid pesticide ban and its effects on some of our native pollinators.
Exploring Parks and Protected Areas -- Dr. Dorothy Hill, Department of Biology, took a group of students to Scotland to explore sustainability and land management practices. The students compared how Scotland's practices differ from the management of Canadian Parks and Protected. This field school provided students with hands-on experiential learning and enabled students to collect the theory they learn in classes to the application of these practices. Watch the video in this article to hear more about the students' experience and what they learned from this course.
Mount Royal University highlights the success of students in the Faculty of Science and Technology -- And, they are all in Biology! -- Are you interested in hearing about the successes of some of our recent graduates? Mount Royal University has just published a story that highlights Biology students that are starting this fall in graduate school, medical school and veterinarian schools. To read the entire article, click here.
Supporting bees and butterflies with Calgary's new pollinator program -- Alex Farmer, Department of Biology, is helping the Calgary community with its new pollinator program by helping to install beds of native plant species along Canyon Meadows Drive. Alex will be assisting not only with the initial set-up but will be collecting data to assess the influence of this project on the diversity of pollinators in Calgary. For more information, read the CBC News article here.
Biology in the Community
November 2017: Have you picked up the latest copy of MRU's Summit Magazine? The Research Snapshots section (sorry, only available in the print version) highlights some of the work of faculty members in the Department of Biology. Dr. Robin Owen's research on uncovering the cause of bee declines, and Alex Farmer's work on the problems with urban bee keeping are mentioned, along with Dr. Ana Colina's review of the role of wastewater facilities and their influence on antibiotic resistance. Finally, the article also profiled Dr. Melanie Rathburn's research on the best practices to maintain amphibian diversity and abundance in Calgary's wetland habitats.
September 2017: In a collaborative project with Wildlife Preservation Canada, Alex Farmer (Department of Biology) spent the summer studying pollinator species diversity in Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park. Over the past decade, many populations of native bees like the Western bumblebee (pictured here) have been declining and this research is essential to assess the health of Alberta native bee populations. As part of this research, Ms. Farmer also provided some amazing field experience for three different Mount Royal University students.
August 2017: Urban wetlands are an important part of the ecosystem and this past summer, Dr. Melanie Rathburn (Department of Biology) and her student research assistant, Alyce Straub, examined wetlands along Calgary’s greenbelt pathway system to determine their ability to support amphibian biodiversity. This work is a collaborative project with the conservation organization, the Miistakis Institute and was funded by the Mount Royal Institute for Environmental Sustainability. Dr. Rathburn and Alyce Straub traveled to Portland, Oregon and presented their research findings at the annual conference of the Ecological Society of America.